The city of Frisco is reviewing a specific location following a deadly crash that killed two residents on March 27.
Jacquelyn Buhler, 76, and Clarence Buhler, 79, were pronounced dead at the scene of a three-vehicle crash on that day. Three others were transported to a local hospital, and the Frisco Police Department announced its investigation that evening.
It wasn’t the first time Frisco had lost residents at the crossroads of FM 423 and Del Webb Boulevard.
On Feb. 23, 2020, a black Acura attempted to make a left turn from FM 423 onto Del Webb. A black Ford F-150 traveling northbound on the farm-to-market road struck the car, resulting in the deaths of three people in the Acura: 34-year-old Divya Avula, her husband, 41-year-old Raja Gavini and Premnath Ramanatham, 42.
Witnesses of the Feb. 2020 crash reported that northbound traffic on FM 423 had a green signal light while the southbound left turn lane showed a flashing yellow arrow at the time of the crash, a press release stated.
Beyond indicating that speed may have played a role in the March 27 crash, Frisco Police haven’t publicly detailed exactly what happened. However, community members were quick to share their concerns with the intersection of FM 423 and Del Webb when the department announced the crash investigation on social media.
Multiple cited concerns about a “flashing yellow light” at the intersection. Some also called for a lowered speed on FM 423, and others said there was a problem with speeding on the road as it is.
In a Wednesday email, the city of Frisco said the southbound left turn on the road had been changed to a “protected only,” operation after the February 2020 crash.
“As is our typical practice following significant traffic incidents in the city, we conducted a review of the location, which includes but is not limited to, looking at crash data, sight distance, signal operations and other factors involved,” the city stated. “The southbound left turn is now a ‘protected only’ operation, i.e. green arrow.”
Other commentators have alleged that there is a problem with street racing in the area.
“So very sad and unnecessary,” Michelle Silva said on Facebook regarding the March 27 crash. “I live nearby and hear the street racing almost every single night.”
She added that she has been avoiding the spot at all costs for about a year because she has seen running of the light and “egregious” driving.
The city of Frisco stated FM 423 is controlled by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“In April 2019, we requested TxDOT conduct a speed study,” the city stated. “As a result, TxDOT found the speed limit should be lowered from 55 to 50 mph. Frisco City Council supported that finding with the adoption of an ordinance, which was sent to TxDOT for processing and new sign installation.”
In a separate statement, the Frisco Police Department said the investigation surrounding what happened on March 27 is ongoing.
“We understand the concern from our citizens as it relates to reckless driving, racing, and speeding in general in the area,” the department stated. “We are working with traffic engineers to explore ways to make the roadway as safe as possible for all motorists.”
The city of Frisco confirmed that city traffic engineers are reviewing the location.
Frisco police also stated officers will increase its presence and enforcement efforts in the area, as well as in others that are known for high speeds and racing.
“Our investigators will work with prosecutors at the District Attorney’s office to prosecute any and all cases that meet criminal statutes,” the department added.
The city of Frisco stated that it is in the process of conducting a study that assesses left-turn safety across the city. Additionally, in May, the city is slated to start a pilot study using video analytics to look at driver behavior at specific intersections in Frisco.
“We strive to make sure our transportation system operates as safely and efficiently as possible,” the city stated.